Argo Development Studio, an Irish-owned architectural company with its roots in the Caribbean, has expanded into the US market with the opening of its New York office where it plans to “tap into” a growing pipeline of American investment into Ireland.
Founded by Irishman David Campion, Argo has developed over 20 million sq ft throughout the Caribbean and Ireland, including offices, resort hotels and an airport. Current work includes the $280 million (€258.9 million) Mandarin Oriental project in the Cayman Islands and the $500 million (€462.5 million) Apes Hill Golf Resort and Community development in Barbados.
It is also has a footprint in Ireland with its involvement in the deign of a €3.5 million enterprise office development for Kildare County Council and previously, the Dublin Airport Central business park.
International architect Michael Casey has been appointed to lead Argo’s New York office as design director.
“We share a passion for architecture of its time with a considered appreciation for environmental, social, cultural and economic impacts,” Mr Campion said. “When the opportunity arose to work together again many years later, we seized upon it.”
The New York office will offer its clients a 16-hour workday “as standard”, it said in a statement, “by availing of a six-hour time zone overlap by splitting its teams between offices in the Caribbean, Ireland and the US, capitalising on time differences between the different offices in its network”.
Mr Campion said the US expansion and the appointment of Mr Casey will allow Argo to tap “a pipeline of US investment into the Caribbean and Ireland” that is expected to develop further. The firm currently values this pipeline at an estimated €12 billion over the next number of years.
“The New York market is like no other and I’m delighted to lead Argo’s Design Studio,” Mr Casey said.
Mr Campion said he has known Mr Casey first met working together in architectural practice Murray O’Laoire in Dublin before its collapse into liquidation in 2010. Mr Campion was working in Barbados on a project at the time his former employer was wound up at the height of the post-2008 property crash but decided to stay on in the Caribbean and set up his own practice.